Wizards of the Coast

www.wizards.com

Wizards of the Coast Reviews

Updated January 29, 2015
Updated January 29, 2015
57 Reviews
2.6
57 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Wizards of the Coast President and CEO Greg Leeds
Greg Leeds
32 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Supportive of work-life balance, several fun employee appreciation events every year (in 9 reviews)

  • half day Fridays, benefits package, generous 401k matching, tuition reimbursement, paid holiday between Dec 24-Jan2 (in 6 reviews)


Cons
  • Some senior management are difficult to work for and some key teams are understaffed and under-resourced (in 4 reviews)

  • This used to be a great place to work I had several managers I truly respected and a team that was inspiring to work with (in 3 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Great staff, Marquis products, Worth the experience

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    Wizards has a phenomenal work environment. The company is vested in doing what's right for the products short & long term.

    Cons

    Risk Adverse
    Slow

    Not much else, except maybe for below average comp.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 4 people found this helpful  

    Wizards is a great place to work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time

    Pros

    I've never worked anywhere with a more passionate, creative group of people. People also care a lot about our players, and are willing to go above and beyond to make our products and experiences special for those players.

    Employees get samples of most of our products. If you're a fan of D&D or Magic: The Gathering, that's a huge benefit. If you're not, there's still a great benefits package, half-day Fridays, and pretty amazing creativity put in to Halloween week (this year, one floor was turned in to the bridge of the Enterprise, another Thunderdome).

    The company has grown leaps and bounds in the last 5 years. It's an exciting time to be at Wizards, and there have never been more opportunities to contribute.

    If you love gaming and are a creative and hard worker, Wizards can be a very rewarding place to work.

    Cons

    Things aren't perfect. There are some areas of the business that Wizards is struggling with, but the senior management is aware of the issues and is committed to shoring up these areas of weakness.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep listening to your people. I've been really encouraged by the amount of effort that has been put in to identifying what makes employees happy or unhappy. This year's Christmas party was the best I've ever been to, and it's clear that more effort is being put in to showing how much employees are valued.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Terrible company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    - Flexible work schedule
    - Laid back

    Cons

    - You'd be hard-pressed to find a more poorly managed company
    - Better make friends. Managers and above will become petty and retaliatory if they don't like you
    - Don't worry about doing a good job. Nothing is based on merit. You'll be judged on who likes you
    - Nothing is organized. Nothing is on time. Everything is on fire
    - You will work well over 40 hours a week and not be compensated in any way for that
    - Don't take holidays for granted. You'll work some of them

    Doesn't Recommend
  4. Is this helpful? The community relies on everyone sharing – Add Anonymous Review


  5. 4 people found this helpful  

    Not a place you want to be like Hasbro the parent company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The offices are nice with many art pieces and dragon in the lobby. You get the Christmas week off.

    Cons

    Upper IT leadership is lost and threatened by new ideas and talent. They make sure those people are diminished until they leave or find a way to get rid of them. It is very clicky within the organization and don't tell HR anything as they are part of the problem! I noticed that many of their job postings are under Hasbro to mislead you into thinking its a great place to work, but Wizards is NO Hasbro and you will find out soon enough

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid on your Top IT leadership as they have been at Wizards so long, they have no idea what the rest of the IT world is doing. If you want to be a top contender in this area, you need new blood!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good associates, poor management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Good group of colleagues to work with,

    Cons

    Management ready to throw anyone under the bus to avoid their own inability to motivate and be a part of the team.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop blaming your direct reports for your own failings

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  7. 7 people found this helpful  

    Best of Both Worlds

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Wizards is great for young go getters. They come in, get to work on cool technology that’s mostly less than 10 years old, build up some nice resume bullet points. Then they leave since pay is better everywhere else in this area.

    But what about the rest of us? The real people. I’ve been here a few years now. I checked out years ago. How’s Wizards for the majority of us?

    It’s FANTASTIC. My manager checked out years ago too. Beyond that? No one cares!

    You never meet your skip level manager. Never. You never meet your director, or VP, or anyone above your direct, every day manager. And there’s about 10 layers between me and the local CEO. I’m closer to Kevin Bacon than him!

    What about the skip level manager - worried that he’ll catch my manager being checked out? There’s no worries there. Just recently had a group meeting with him. He has four reports, and manages four products. He messed up the name of one of his direct reports and one of his products! And when called on it he responded “Everyone calls him [incorrect pronunciation]”!! Is there any clearer way he can say “I don’t care about you or your product”? This is a 100% true example of every day life at Wizards.

    There is no better place for the 15 minute a week workers. There’s so many of us I don’t worry about losing my job, even if the managers cared. But they so obviously don’t care that it’s one less thing to worry about.

    Cons

    No upward mobility. But if you're basing your career at this company, you've got bigger problems.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the good work! Not being recognized by any manager will keep me collecting paychecks from you!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful  

    Outdated organization and outdated technology

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Work/Life balance is good
    Comp is good in certain groups
    Hasbro 401k plan is stellar if you're able to contribute

    Cons

    Health benefits are awful, with massive out-of-pocket costs
    Vacation time is a bit low for the area and industry
    Company culture is very weak
    Career development is extremely difficult

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Flatten your org structure. The current model of silos upon silos upon silos doesn't work and breeds inefficiency; so much so that you needed to create a massive (and near useless) PMO group to try and navigate it all. Nobody's bosses boss should have three bosses.

    Use just a tiny piece of those massive profits to treat your employees like they matter. Update the hideous 1980's office. Treat them to some fun events (hint: letting people play Magic doesn't count). Go visit other local game studios and see what those environments are like...maybe you'll realize why recruiting is so difficult.

    Bring in technology experts and engineers with experience in modern systems. The people who've been at Wizards for 10+ years are as out-of-date as the technology they're trying to fix.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 6 people found this helpful  

    Marketing is not marketing at all, but rather, just an oligarchy of glorified A&P spenders.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast

    Pros

    Magic has grown tremendously over the last 5 years. Most of the Magic brand team is very passionate about the game (largely because they are avid players). There is truly only one trained marketer on the Magic team and she is relatively new.
    D&D brand team is very solid, hard working, visionary, and capable.
    The Creative teams are impressive. The art and manufacturing is top of class.
    HR team has talent; is the best in recent memory (maybe ever)
    Technology team is finally picking up steam (and improving morale) largely due to a significant improvement in leadership.
    Finance leadership is solid, contemporary, and relevant. They are highly involved.

    Cons

    R&D designs great paper Magic, but is not poised with the talent to design in the digital world.
    Magic brand team leadership lacks transformative vision and are generally novice managers who are more interested in ego and empire building than anything else.
    The Web Publishing team is a complete disaster, failing to deliver anything of significance technologically and the latest project was a colossal failure by any measure.
    The marketing team's culture, established by its leader, is based on masoginistic narcissism and ego-based decision making. Everyone works to satisfy the leadership's constantly changing emotional whims.
    Ideas are torn down and constantly refactored so that "proper credit" can be accepted upward.
    Everything is blamed on either the Sales team or the Technology team.
    HR is powerless because executive bullying is allowed, especially in Marketing and Sales, where Marketing in particular believes they are over-qualified in every discipline.
    Magic Online Business team leadership is unqualified
    Executive team has only four qualified executives in positions to take the company forward; HR, Finance, Technology, and CEO.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    There is so much potential in the staff that can simply be unlocked by letting go of the cancerous parts of the leadership team that just intentionally provoke discord. Focus the executive team on their own functional areas and stop allowing them to pick each other's teams apart. This company is not Turbine; some of us have worked at Turbine and can say definitively that this behavior was not allowed there either.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 8 people found this helpful  

    Facebook in the morning, long lunch, Netflix in the afternoon

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Renton, WA

    I have been working at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you want a job where you don’t have to work that lets you spend most of the day on Facebook, Reddit or whatever website you want, look no further. Your performance will be measured against a handful of silly goals that you set for yourself. Wizards is ideal for people who just want to stall out career-wise. There is no reward for hard work, so don’t bother trying to get your job satisfaction out of making meaningful contributions. Instead, take advantage of the perks you’ll find at Wizards that you won’t find at any other employer on the planet that actually makes money: take two- to three-hour lunches, two to three times a week… conduct all of your personal business during working hours… “work” from home to care for a sick child… book a conference room on the third floor for a few hours and catch up on Netflix… find a way to use FMLA and take a couple of months off of work entirely… set up a MTGO trading side job to make money from stuff you never paid for!

    The good news is that you’ll never be fired because Hasbro’s HR and risk management staff is so afraid of getting sued for wrongful termination that you’d basically have to be caught stealing Magic cards to get fired, and not know the right people who can help you cover up a situation like that.

    Cons

    The unfortunate part is that the majority of workers hate coming to work. Hardworking, smart, talented people move on to other companies, leaving behind the people who either can’t get a job anywhere else or are too lazy or depressed to try. There are a few exceptions, of course, but HR will see to it that they don’t stay around too long. They’ll have them apply for “consideration” of a title change or pay increase, withholding all assistance during that process – even for individuals worth retaining – ensuring that the success rate stays somewhere below 3%. Whatever you do, don’t complain about anyone who is never working – you’ll be ostracized, because the majority of workers are never working.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire carefully. Stop promoting people into positions just because they’re the ones who stuck around long enough. Stop making people managers just because they have the most institutional knowledge.

    Fire quickly. If you want to fire someone, fire them. You know the ones that need to go. Tell HR you’re willing to accept the risk of firing someone who hasn’t done a PIP. Why do you let them make business decisions for you? We spend stupid amounts of money on "marketing" that drives zero business, but we aren't willing to spend a little on severance to get rid of some seriously toxic/lazy/unqualified employees?

    Firing a few people would help to restore the work ethic in people who are basically good but have just gotten complacent and know they won’t be fired.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 7 people found this helpful  

    Not a shred of accountability to be found anywhere.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Wizards of the Coast full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Not many, honestly. Half day Fridays? Though many poor overworked slaves dont really get to take advantage. Ironically the people who SHOULD be there working are the first out the door Friday afternoons. 401k match is good, I guess. Wizards is lucky the products are so good.

    Cons

    Buck passing as far as the eye can see. The senior manager and director level management ranges from very bad to excellent. The exec team is useless and generally terrible, with a couple members who contribute to a toxic work environment. Zero commitment to innovate and "risk" upsetting Magic. Any time someone questions ANYTHING, rather than owning mistakes and committing to get better as a group, people retreat to defensive positions and lash out, especially the bottom of the barrel people who are lucky to have jobs at all - the rejects from other companies that will actually take the well-below-market salaries WotC pays. I love the products and hoped after I left that they'd find their way and succeed, but it doesn't look like it's happening given the other reviews here in the last ~18 months.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Not sure what to tell you all. You made your bed.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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